No foreclosure sale for West Seattle’s ‘Hole’ tomorrow, after all

(WSB photo of “The Hole,” taken last month)
We’re back at the King County Courthouse, where the foreclosure sale originally planned tomorrow for “The Hole” – the long-stalled West Seattle development site at 39th/Alaska (map) – is now off, or “stayed” in legal terms. That’s the result of multiple hearings over the past week, concluding with the decision this morning.

But the party that sought the stay, the site’s current note-holder 3922 SW Alaska, did not get the other big thing they wanted in seeking the stay. They were denied their request to be allowed to proceed with their own foreclosure sale so they could take possession and, they said, start working on the site, even while their appeal of Judge Susan Craighead‘s original ruling proceeded through the Court of Appeals. (Her original ruling, last November, was simply to determine whose lien against the stalled project came before whose – she ruled that the two construction companies and another contractor had precedence before 3922 SW Alaska.)

Today, Judge Craighead said no to the proposal for 3922 SW Alaska’s own foreclosure sale, even while making it clear she doesn’t want to keep the site idle. In fact, during this morning’s hearing, as she has done before, the judge repeatedly voiced concern about the West Seattle community’s desire to see something done with the property, which that was going to be a Whole Foods store, a Hancock Fabrics store, and apartments, over a big parking garage, till the project fell apart two and a half years ago and turned into a multi-party legal fight.

The judge instead declared that the way to bring about a resolution sooner was to push the Court of Appeals to speed up its consideration of the appeal (even as the fight over the collapsed project moves toward another trial this summer). In the meantime, 3922 SW Alaska – which is associated with Madison Development‘s owner – has put up $7,714,799, to protect the interests of the three lienholders in line ahead of it. (The money was in the form of a cashier’s check brought to court this morning.)

Bottom line: The Hole remains The Hole at least until the Court of Appeals decides on the challenge filed by 3922 SW Alaska LLC. We’ll be watching to see if it does indeed get sped up (the judge noted one case of hers once made it through the appeals court in a month).

6 Replies to "No foreclosure sale for West Seattle's 'Hole' tomorrow, after all"

  • Jonny February 24, 2011 (2:16 pm)

    “has put up $7,714,799, to protect the interests of the three lienholders in line ahead of it. (The money was in the form of a cashier’s check brought to court this morning.)”

    thats Godzilla Balling but why can they do this but not pay the old bills?…..sounds like a different company or something im guessing :shrug:

  • Gatewooder February 24, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    Thanks for great coverage on this, WSB. We are fortunate to have Judge Craighead taking the community into account, which is somewhat unusual in a legal situation like this. The fact that it is a safety issue gives it some urgency. There have been other situations where the owner was required to fill the hole they made, but that would be wasteful if another outcome can be found.

  • Cb February 24, 2011 (5:07 pm)

    Nobody should be surprised by this. It will years before any construction occurs.

  • Brontosaurus February 25, 2011 (1:18 pm)

    ….and in the mean time a vehicle will plough through the fence resulting in a fatal accident. Yes, alcohol will probably be “a factor” but that doesn’t change the fact that the hole is not only an eyesore…it’s dangerous.

  • Kolby February 25, 2011 (4:00 pm)

    it needs to be covered up and let’s make it a park

  • austin February 26, 2011 (9:17 am)

    Let’s make it deeper!

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